Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)Coreshine from a Dark Cloud
Stars and their planets are born in cold, dark, interstellar clouds of gas and dust. While exploring the clouds at infrared wavelengths, astronomers have made a surprising discovery -- dozens of cases where dense cloud cores shine by reflecting infrared starlight.
An Airplane in Front of the Moon
If you look closely at the Moon, you will see a large airplane in front of it. Well, not always. OK, hardly ever. But if you wait for days with your camera attached to a Moon tracker in a place where airplanes are known to pass, you might catch a good photograph of it.
Venus South Polar Vortex
What's happening over the South Pole of Venus? To find out, scientists have been studying images taken by the robotic Venus Express spacecraft when it passes over the lower spin axis of Earth's overheated twin.
The Dancing Auroras of Saturn
What drives auroras on Saturn? To help find out, scientists have sorted through hundreds of infrared images of Saturn taken by the Cassini spacecraft for other purposes, trying to find enough aurora images to correlate changes and make movies.
Arp 188 and the Tadpoles Tidal Tail
Why does this galaxy have such a long tail? In this stunning vista recorded with the Hubble Space Telescope's Advanced Camera for Surveys, distant galaxies form a dramatic backdrop for disrupted spiral galaxy Arp 188, the Tadpole Galaxy. The cosmic tadpole is a mere 420 million light-years distant toward the northern constellation Draco.
Melotte 15 in the Heart
Cosmic clouds seem to form fantastic shapes in the central regions of emission nebula IC 1805. Of course, the clouds are sculpted by stellar winds and radiation from massive hot stars in the nebula's newborn star cluster, Melotte 15.
Equinox and Harvest Moon
Did you enjoy the moonlight last night? The Full Moon closest to autumnal equinox and the beginning of Fall is traditionally known as the Harvest Moon, rising opposite the Sun and illuminating fields at harvest time after sunset. This year's northern hemisphere autumnal equinox occurred yesterday, September 23rd, at 03:09 Universal Time.
Equinox and the Iron Sun
Today, the Sun crosses the celestial equator heading south at 03:09 Universal Time. Known as an equinox, this astronomical event marks the first day of autumn in the northern hemisphere and spring in the south. Equinox means equal night.
Discovery Rollout Shadow
Who goes there? Although the spotlighted figure in white might not be identifiable by itself, surely the huge shadow behind it makes its identity clear: the space shuttle. Specifically, it was the space shuttle Discovery being rolled out last March in preparation for launch.
Starry Night Over the Rhone
How can the majesty of the night sky best be captured in a painting? This was a continual challenge for Vincent van Gogh, a famous painter in the late 1800s who pioneered stirring depictions of star filled skies into several of his works.